The FIM today released the provisional 2016 calendar for the World Superbike championship. There is good news and bad news in the calendar, with Portimao disappearing from the calendar, but Monza making a welcome return. World Superbikes will also be returning to Germany, with the entire circus turning up to the Lausitzring, just north of Dresden. The best news is that there are no direct clashes with MotoGP, but WSBK will be running on the same date as F1 for nine rounds, though only the Donington and Monza rounds happen in the same timezone. Given the different time schedules for F1 and WSBK, bike racing fans should not have to miss any of the action.
The Lausitzring was not the only option considered when WSBK looked at returning to Germany. The series was also in talks with the Sachsenring, as the MotoGP round is immensely popular there. In the end, Lausitz was chosen, WSBK having raced there previously from 2005 to 2007.
Press releases from the series organizers and teams after Sunday's World Superbike round at Magny-Cours:
The last race of the day, only five minutes later than advertised, would be the full twenty one laps in the dry, most of the dampness having left the track.
The World Supersport race was shortened for scheduling, and it was still damp enough for everyone to fit intermediate tyres. The race started with Kenan Sofuoglu having to fight his way past Lucas Mahias and a very quick off the mark Kyle Smith to take the lead.
Once clear, Sofuoglu built a five second lead in three laps with PJ Jacobsen in second seeing his title hopes disappearing into the distance. Then, a red flag came out for fluid on the track and they would have to start again.
The restart was a dry eleven lap race, starting from their positions in the shortened session as opposed to their qualifying positions, with the front row being Kenan Sofuoglu, PJ Jacobsen and Kevin Wahr. Baldolini would not start, leaving a gap on the second row.
The morning's wet warmup was red-flagged as Reiterberger spilled oil on the track. The race start was delayed and the race would be reduced to nineteen laps. In deference for the conditions, riders were shod in the new wet tyres, front and rear.
Press releases from the organizers and teams after qualifying at Magny-Cours:
World Supersport qualifying wasn't any drier than Superpole.
A wet Superpole in France and all bets were off. Without a choice of tyres, everyone apparently getting the new wet weather Pirelli, we would not get the usual shift on a race tyre followed by a shift on a qualifying tyre as the better tactic is to just go out and get as many laps in fourteen minutes as possible.
Tom Sykes was quickest, ahead of Jonathan Rea, Chaz Davies and Leon haslam, in this untimed session.
PJ Jacobsen pipped fast local man Lucas Mahias and title rival Kenan Sofuoglu while Alex Baldolini sneaked into the top four. Sofuoglu's time from the Friday morning is still the quickest of the weekend so far.
With nobody beating Jonathan Rea's quickest time from yesterday, Chaz Davies was quickest this morning, ahead of Rea, Leon Haslam and Tom Sykes.
Superpole qualifying will have Luca Scassa and Matteo Baiocco as the two favourites in Superpole One to get promoted to Superpole Two. Impressive German wildcard Markus Reiterberger qualified for Superpole Two.
Press releases after the first day of practice at Magny-Cours:
Jonathan Rea was the only rider under the 1'38 mark, heading off Chaz Davies and Tom Sykes. Sylvain Guintoli, in front of his home crowd, was the only rider not to improve on his morning's time.